I'm finally writing this message after being shouted at by Mr Stayte and Dhruv. First off, I wanna thank Mr Stayte for teaching me since year 7, you are the best teacher I've ever had. You've always been supportive throughout the years and have always provided a stress free studying environment where students are able to study and relax at the same time. From baking us sausage rolls(aka The Bad Boys) to your attempts to explain Boolean algebra to us, I've always enjoyed and looked forward to your lessons.
Secondly shoutout to Mr Doidge for his random stories and discussions with the class during the times when I'm not bothered to study (which is most of the time), the things you’ve talked about have mostly been interesting, but sometimes questionable.
Even though I am not great at computer science, you guys' teaching has led me to pursue further studies in computing.
To the class, I've enjoyed my 2 years of A level with you guys, thank you Jed for helping me with the notes. Thank you Hannah for your amazing brownies and distracting Doidge. Thank you Aman for the countless flash game battles we've had. Thank you Dhruv for sometimes being helpful.
To the future year 13/12 computer science students, I wish you guys the best of luck in your studies.
So, computing. What a subject. Between weird stories and unproductive lessons, it really has been a wild ride. On the whole its been pretty good. Despite annoying exam boards, the power of computing has prevailed. The best part had to have been the odd drawing competitions we had, as well as Hannah's brownies. I can't say I'll ever forget the hour long debates about cropping and compression.
On the whole I'd say I enjoyed computing a-level, although the course had little to do with that. Definitely a lot more fun than further maths was, and a lot easier too! I can't say I learned a lot, except about Doidge, but hey that's part of the fun. Hell yeah!
If you're reading this I assume you've made the decision to follow the path of compsci A-level; a path walked by us, and our ancestors before us (and that's it. We're the 2nd year to do this). Now, it is your turn. You will encounter many perilous things on your journey, such as whatever the hell floating point binary is, but don't worry; I'm here to help. There are some little known facts that might make your time in these icy suites bearable, and it is my duty to depart them to you.
If you have Stayte, you must stay calm. Most of the lessons will be structured and enjoyable. If you are really not having fun, keep your displeasure unknown. Instead, compliment him! He likes knowing he's doing a good job. Be kind to the Stayte, and he shall be kind back. Also, bully him into making "the bad boys". If you don't know what they are, that's okay. Ask, and you shall find out.
Doidge is an easier boss fight. You can easily exploit his weak point; his love for sharing stories. Inquire about worms. Ask for clarification on everything. He will eventually run into a possible dramatic tale he can tell. He will love this, and you will too, because neither of you have to do anything all lesson. It's brilliant. Be warned though, using this hack too many times will lead you to not knowing what floating point binary is the week before your exam.
Finally, please for the love of god be somewhat nice to them. If you can't tell by this text, we have thoroughly run these poor dudes ragged.
I'm writing just after our last computing lesson and it still doesn't quite feel real. Actually, it hasn't yet sunk in that last week we sat our Paper 1. But here we are, a week and a half and Computing A Level will be over, and what a ride it's been. From spending entire doubles debating the ethics of something which definitely maybe started off computer science related, to drawing contests to pointless bickering with Dhruv ("like an old married couple") and Hannah's infamous brownies, there's no question that this has been my favourite class these past 2 years. We even got a trip, to the Game Over cafe 100m down the road, which is more than can be said for my other subjects (thanks Covid!).
Before I go, some friendly advice: turn off the air conditioning in 3020, otherwise you will freeze to death. The exam board will always ask for the most bizarre answers to questions and often ignore perfectly good ones, just make sure you study the mark schemes very closely. Oh, and remember to follow Jed's advice of "just be smart". And finally; ask Doidge about Worms, you probably won't regret it.
Uh yeah so it was kinda alright I guess? I learned much regarding Doidge's personal life actually, can't say the same about actual computer science; I still don't understand anything and I doubt I ever will.
Would I recommend doing computer science A-level? Yeah, it's a bit of a laugh if I'm honest and technically quite useful. It's not too large a step up from GCSEs, so it's not that demanding if you are already somewhat interested in the subject. There are four exams though, so that's less fun. If you ever need a distraction in a lesson, ask Doidge any question at all and he'll likely go on about it for a good ten minutes. If you have Stayte, he's incredibly easy to distract, so there's that. You can probably just say he's doing a good job and he'll stop teaching for a while. For the record, I never said or typed the last three sentences and do not support the action either may suggest.
I'd say though, overall, computer science has probably been my favourite A-level; the teachers are...fine and the course itself isn't too awful! Out of 10? Like, 8/10. Pretty good. Not too shabby. This rating may change depending on whatever grades I get after my exams.